The majority of the stocks in our European telecoms index ended week 25 down (-0.2%), but not quite as much as the EuroStoxx 50 index (-1.8%). Several satellite stocks did well, including Inmarsat (+15%) and SES (+4.9%). Altice (+4.6%) was forced to abandon its Media Capital takeover deal, but was able to conclude the sale of stakes in its French and Portuguese tower businesses, according Telecompaper. The Greek challenger and micro-cap Forthnet (-15%) was the weakest stock, with Russian MTS (-7.%) and Orange Belgium (-7.8%) also down considerably. Crnogorski Telekom (+11%) of Montenegro came out as the week's winner.
Iliad's entry in Italy, M&A around Sky and Telenet
Iliad's (-2.8%) entry in the Italian mobile market elicited more competitor responses. Vodafone IT came with several new offers and came close to launching a new low-cost brand. TIM also launched a new low-cost subscription.
Sky (+5.8%) benefitted from the bidding war that Walt Disney and Comcast are waging over 21st Century Fox. Disney also offered concessions for the planned takeover of Sky by Fox. In Belgium, Telenet (-1.1%) was reported to have launched an offer for Brutélé, operating the VOO brand in Brussels, but Brutélé's partner Nethys was trying to prevent this by offering a merger plan. And in the UK CityFibre (0.1%) was delisted as its takeover by the Antin consortium closed.
Russian MegaFon (+2.2%) reported Q1 results and launched a plan to sell off towers. Telenor (-2.3%) was hit with a fine for the way it handled national roaming for a newcomer in the Norwegian mobile market. And Deutsche Telekom (-2.0%) was the latest operator to plan a large-scale cost cutting program, at T-Systems, including several thousand job cuts.
YTD: Telenet and Iliad most striking
Year-to-date the gap between VEON (-36%) and Intelsat (+418%), at the extremes of our basket, widened. Altice (+172%) is continuing its winning streak, and so is Sky (+40%). Striking losers include Belgian cable company Telenet and French challenger Iliad (both -31%).
Within the segment of incumbent operators the year-to-date performances range from +30 percent for DNA and +20 percent for Elisa, both in Finland, to -23 percent for both Proximus and Türk Telekom.